Gov. Onaga explains Okinawa’s US military base issue to Hawaii Governor

Gov. Onaga explains Okinawa’s US military base issue to Hawaii Governor

Hawaii Governor David Ige and Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onga shake hands on May 22, in Honolulu. (Photograph provided the Okinawa Prefectural Governmnet and Kyodo News Service.)

May 31, 2015 Ryota Shimabukuro of Ryukyu Shimpo reports from Honolulu

On May 30, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and Hawaii Governor David Ige met for the first time in Honolulu.

At their meeting, Onaga explained that he would seek to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma outside of Okinawa. Governor Ige expressed sympathy for the Okinawa Governor’s stance. However, the Hawaii Governor told Onaga that the Hawaii State Government could not intervene in the issue because the governments of the United States and Japan had already decided on the U.S. base in Okinawa.

About 2,700 U.S. Marines will move to Hawaii from Okinawa as part of a U.S. base realignment plan agreed on by the governments of the United States and Japan. Ige said,” We will work together (with the US and Japan) towards the implementation of the plan.”

Onaga and Ige reiterated their eagerness to deepen ties between Okinawa and Hawaii, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the islands’ sister city relationship, to be held in July in Hawaii.

The Okinawa Governor proposed hosting Governor Ige in Okinawa one day.
Both governors reaffirmed their commitment to a joint venture project on developing a clean energy in Okinawa and Hawaii, which began in 2010. According to the Okinawa Prefectural Government, they will renew their commitment to the project at a signing to be held at the ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the sister state arrangement between Hawaii and Okinawa.

(English translation by T&CT)

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